Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has called on residents of the state to use the opportunity of the 2023 general election to “take back Nigeria and place it on the path of righteousness.”
The governor reiterated that the February 25 presidential election will be an election like no other and that it would usher in a truly independent Nigeria, warning Nigerians not to vote with sentiments.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that Governor Makinde stated this at the Comfort Life Mission International aka Olorun Ojiji, Ikoyi, Osun State, during its monthly 7-7 programme.
Governor Makinde urged Christians to take a firm decision in the coming polls in order to take Nigeria back, and shine the light on the supposedly dark corners of politics, stating that with only two weeks to the presidential election, it is time for activism rather than political correctness.
According to Governor Makinde, the insinuation that politics is a dirty game and that Christians should abstain from it has been unhelpful, noting that more Christians should participate in politics and governance, as according to him, it will help to lighten the darkness in the world.
The governor equally stated that his administration has, in the last four years, been giving back to the society and developing the state across the four pillars of the administration.
He maintained that the ongoing Ibadan Circular Road project, which is only about five minutes to the Comfort Life Mission headquarters, is one of the many evidences of his administration’s developmental efforts.
He said that when completed, the Circular Road would commute travellers from the Ife-Ibadan Road axis to Lagos in one hour and 10 minutes without having to go through the Ibadan city centre.
Governor Makinde, who stated that the successes achieved by the government would not have been possible without the prayers of the people of the state, added that he knew that the prayers of God’s people were fervent and effectual from the early period of his administration when he contracted COVID-19.
He told the congregation that he was able to survive the virus despite the scare at that time.
He also expressed confidence that with the prayers and support of Oyo State people, he is assured of victory in the March 11 governorship election, because according to him, he was able to win in 2019 with the support of God the father, and the people of Oyo State.
He said: “My message to you today is simple. I know we Christians are passive when it comes to our involvement in politics because we believe it is a dirty venture, which is meant only for the dirty, deceitful and ungodly people. Yes, judging from where we are coming from, there could have been darkness but if we are to consider where we are going to, we need light.
“We need gradual and consistent light to completely overcome the darkness. So, our participation can be likened to the light.
“I had the opportunity several years ago to go to Gboko, Benue State, for a leadership conference with Bro Gbile Akanni. The message of the pastor who preached the last time I attended was similar to this. He said that if Christians don’t participate in politics, we don’t have the right to question them on why they are doing it the wrong way. He gave some examples that validate the fact that irrespective of whatever is going on around us, we should be the light in our environment.
“If there is darkness in a place and you light one candle, and then another, and then another, gradually the darkness will disappear.
“So, as Christians, we must participate. This is not the time to say we want to be politically correct as this is the time for activism. It is the time for us to take back our country and put it on the path of righteousness.
“In two weeks time, the presidential election will be holding and we must take a firm decision. I am here on the altar of God and I can tell you that the 2023 election will be a turning point for Nigeria.
“You see, the election I can compare with the forthcoming one was the one that held in 1955 before Nigeria gained independence. I said this because, after this 2023 general election, Nigeria will become truly independent.”
The governor urged the congregants to vote devoid of sentiments, noting that a similar mistake in 2015 has not yielded any positive result for Nigerians.
“So, I want to urge you to leave sentiments apart. In 2015, you voted based on sentiment – you voted for Muslim and a pastor. But I asked them to show me a Christian among those who got the ticket. Even the pastor, who is a Christian, was not allowed to operate. When the president was ill and flown abroad, he (vice president) was in charge for a couple of months and we all felt the difference. Now, the direction we have to go must be devoid of sentiment. We must be practical and ask ourselves what we want about the vessel God wants to use,” Makinde added.
Speaking on how his administration has been working for Oyo State people and has been able to reposition the state in the last 44 months, the governor said: “In Oyo State, I can say that, for me, it has been a journey of giving back to the society. One of the things that I know we are doing, which I also know will become a reality is the Circular Road.
“When the Pastor was speaking, he said some people came from Lagos to attend this programme. I believe you saw the Circular Road, which is five minutes away from here, and the flyover that leads to the express road where this location is.
“What that Circular Road project means is – from here to Ojota, you can spend one hour ten minutes. From the Circular Road, if you want to burst out to where First Technical University is located, it will be 20 minutes because it is 32km. From that point to Lagos, it cannot be more than 45 minutes. So, that is the kind of development we have brought to Oyo State, which we believe there will be continuity in the second term.
“I am the first Governor in the history of Oyo State, who has no godfather but only God the father. Against all odds in 2019, God the father did it and He will do it again. So, I thank you all and please continue to pray for Nigeria so we can have a peaceful general election.”